De‐Escalation Plans and General Steps Toward a New Relationship
It is suggested that obsession with the mind and personality of key leaders in a conflict situation is a deflection from the real work of conflict prevention and resolution, since the overwhelming, unrecognized and feared power actually rest with the moods and instincts of the majority of the people embroiled in the conflict. In this context, the chapter focuses on cultural shifts in the Israeli/Palestinian communities that are the key to determining possible elite concessions, compromises, and creative problem solving. Before this, however, the author gives his opinion on what went wrong between Arafat and Barak in the summer of 2000, and led to the resulting spiral of violence; the opinion includes cross‐cultural considerations, and personality and political issues. The cultural conflict de‐escalation plan for Israel and Palestine presented next makes some very explicit recommendations for de‐escalating the violent confrontations as of winter 2002, with specific attention to culture and religion. The chapter ends with some general recommendations for the future.
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